Hello & welcome to the 2nd vid in the ‘How to Plan a Trip around the World by Motorcycle’ series, and in this vid we’ll cover the Holy Grail – How Much Does it Cost to Travel around the World by Motorcycle?
So Grab a brew, sit back, and lets make your dreams a reality!
So you want to travel the world, you’ve watched the first vid on How to Plan a Trip Around the World by Motorcycle, and now you want to know How Much Does it Cost to Travel Around the World, you need an Around the World Budget Guide. Well you’ve come to the right place then as that’s what this vid is all about.
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Ok, in this vid were going to cover the following topics, so if you’re only interested in some of them you can check out the timestamp in the description below and jump straight to whatever topic you like.
Right then, Let’s get on with planning your dream then shall we!?
How long will you be away for?
First off, you’ve already worked out your rough route, so for this example we’ll just use this basic RTW journey.
Confused already? No worries, we’ll just take it step by step.
Lets say you know that you will cover roughly 35,000 miles around the world, and you’re happy riding 300 miles a day. You’ve got to take into account that 300 miles may be achievable on good tarmac, but even 50 miles in a day could be horrendous in places where there isn’t a road, or it’s a dirt track and the weather is foul.
I’d give yourself a rough average of say 150 miles a day, so that’s 35,000/150=234 days of solid riding. To allow for breaks/layovers, time to sightsee and see a bit of where you’re travelling through, I personally would say no more than 3 full days of constant riding before you stop for a day off, so 234 days/3= 78 stop over days, add that to your initial 234 = 312 days to cover the 35,000 miles around the world, with some breaks to give you time to enjoy the place. You can certainly do it a lot quicker, and you can do it a lot slower, but that’s something you need to ask yourself and be realistic with your planning here.
So the rough equation is simple. Take your total mileage of your trip, divide it by an estimate of how far you want to ride each day, to give you a guide on how long it will take you to just ride that distance – let’s call that A.
Then divide (A) by 3 and whatever the answer is – let’s call that B, just add A + B together to = C (the total time to travel that section, allowing for time off the bike to sightsee and do stuff)
Total Mileage/daily mileage limit = A
A/3 = B
A+B = C
Look at that, we’re doing Algebra! That’s the first time I’ve done Algebra since learning it in school! Who said it wouldn’t come in handy then eh????
Don’t worry folks I’ll put all this in the description below so check it out and note it down if you like for use later.
Everyone is different, but you really need to be honest with yourself here about how you’re likely to be living when away. Will you be camping every night, and if so will you camp wild for free or look for campsites?
Or will you go for the hostel option, or maybe you’d prefer the cheap motel or hotel routes?
This all has a huge implication on your budget so you really need to get this right in your head now to allow enough finances for everything else in your dream trip.
For me, I planned to camp wild most of the trip, but in reality it just didn’t work out like that. I stayed in motels and hotels way too much in Europe at the start as I wasn’t sure how to just camp wild, and the time of year I was travelling Europe (October/November) a lot of the campsites were shut!
A great resource to find campsites, hostels, motels and hotels for every budget is booking.com (insert associate link) and the beauty of this is, the more you use it, the more discount you get in future bookings. I used it all around the world and now I get fantastic discounts when booking other stay overs!
Of course as you travel you’ll meet people who will inevitably invite you to stay with them, and this is what travelling is all about for me – meeting new people and learning about the place you’re in through them – the local perspective, stuff you rarely get in guide books!
As a general rule of thumb, I’d say I camped wild or stayed with people for free about a third of the time, stayed in hostels and cheap motels a third of the time, and hotels another third of the time.
We’ll cover how to work out the actual budget later on in this vid, so don’t worry about figuring it all out just yet.
Starving yourself is never the best idea. Believe it or not, when I’m on the road myself I’ll normally miss breakfast, grab a sandwich or choccy bar in a fuel stop throughout the day, then eat a meal at night. It’s not the healthiest option I know, but it keeps the cash flow down.
Another option is to just head straight for a market or supermarket and grab a loaf of bread, a pack of cheese and/or ham, big bottle of water and a slab of cheap chocolate. You can live off that lot for 3-5 days easy, camp wild or in cheap campsites, then head for a hostel or cheap motel for a clean up and hearty meal.
The other end of the spectrum is 3-square meals a day, but obviously this is very expensive, especially in Europe. So decide what type of traveller you are going to be, and again be realistic here as this budget you’re working out will ultimately tell you how much you’re going to need for the trip. If you plan like a pauper but live like a King, you’ll quickly run out of funds and the dream will end very quickly!
Penny pinching Option:
Head to a supermarket every few days to stock up on bread and cheese, maybe a slab of chocolate then live off this for 3-5 days. Or do a ‘Nathan Millward’ and live off a 99p Cheeseburger once a day!
Middle of the Road:
Skip brekkie, grab a sandwich from a petrol station for lunch, street food/cheap local food for dinner. Generally the most favoured option.
3-square meals a day, at least. You’re living life and not caring about the waistline.
We’ll cover how to actually work this budget out shortly in this vid, but if you can’t wait, check out the description down below and use the timestamp to jump forward to the relevant section.
What’s the point in riding all the way to the other side of planet, only to find yourself there and unable to actually afford to do any of the amazing tourist activities available – like cage diving with Crocodiles, visiting iconic sights & natural wonders.
Write down what you really want to do on this trip and google it to find out what it will actually cost. Note this down next to each thing you really want to do as this will come in handy when we sit down to actually work out the budget later in this vid.
Don’t worry, we’re nearly there folks – COME ON, push through!!!
Yep you heard right, you’re going to need to get a host of jabs, tablets and potions in you if you’re going to be travelling the world. There’s a load of nasty illnesses out there just waiting to greet you with open teeth. Take it from someone who knows, I got Dengue fever whilst on the road in Indonesia and it’s not a pretty thing to go through. I leaked from both ends at one point, not even having enough time to get my lid off!
You’re best bet is to go to your GP with a list of the countries you’ll be going to, then they can work out what vaccinations you will need. If it’s an actual around the world trip which takes in all major continents, the chances are you will need everything, which equated to about £600! Yep you heard that right.
Now there are plenty of folk who don’t bother, and I stopped taking my mosquito meds after Russia as I couldn’t be bothered carrying them anymore and I kept forgetting to take them, but then again I did catch Dengue Fever as a result.
I know what I’d rather do now.
Now this isn’t your motorcycle insurance, you’ll get that generally at each border point you cross – where there is an actual physical border. This is your travel insurance covering you for things like medical services following illness or injury, repatriation etc. This is available in loads of different places but the prices have SHOT up since I went on my trip.
I used the Post Office here in the UK and for their all singing all dancing worldwide travel insurance cover, which included hazardous activities cover such as motorcycling, it cost me about £460 for a full years insurance. I’ve just checked on their website today and it would cost over £1,600 now!
There are lots of other places to try for this insurance and once again Horizons Unlimited or places like Overland Magazine or Adventure Bike Rider are great resources to introduce yourself and ask people for ideas on where to go to get the best deal. I’ve put links to all of these in the description of the vid.
As I mentioned in the previous vid, when there’s a stretch of your trip that you don’t want to ride across, or you physically can’t ride across, you have to either ship your bike by air or sea. Which you choose is entirely down to you and your own budget, but a great first step is to visit Shippio Car & Motorcycle Shipping www.shippio.com and email them your plans asking for ideas on costs involved. When emailing ask to deal with a chap called David Wyborn, he’s a top lad, incredibly knowledgable of the global shipping field, and very proficient at his job. David helped me out no-end and he’s happy for me to forward you guys to him via www.shippio.com
As a general guide and bearing in mind my trip is over 4 years ago now, the major shipping points for me where Australia to South America, and New York to Dublin. Both of these I chose to air freight the bike and both cost me about £2,600 each just for the bike, you have to add the cost of your own flight to this as well.
The same journey via sea freight may cost half as much but it could take 2-3 months, meaning you have to take into account your living expenses for this time whilst you await the arrival of your bike.
Lets say we are doing a standard around the world motorcycle trip so need to cover the sea freight of our bike from Dilli in East Timor to Darwin Australia (about £700 once you take into account insurances/registration into OZ etc), the air freight from Sydney to Santiago (about £3,000 all in), the air freight across the Darian Gap (about £600 all in), and the Air Freight from NYC to UK (again about £3,000 all in).
As a rough estimate we’d be looking at around £7,500 for this (but these were the prices back in 2013/2014), then I’d add about another £500 just for contingencies there, so let’s say £10K to cover your shipping – as prices will have increased a lot since I went, as a rough guide.
How to Work Out Daily Budgets
This really does depend on where in the world you’re travelling through. So for our trip here, we can see that about 3,500 miles will be through Europe, 7,000 miles across Russia, 8,000 miles through Sth East Asia, 5,000 miles in Oz, 8,500 miles in South America, 4,000 miles Central America, 12,000 miles in North America and Canada, then home. You can work out these mileages by just going to google maps, and plotting your route in stages, for example you could plot the European leg of the trip and get a rough idea of mileage, note it down, then move and do the Russian leg, note that down, and so on and so on until you cover all the main legs of your trip. Keep that note of the different mileages safe as you’ll need them next.
Each day on the trip we’d need to finance Fuel, Food & drink, and Accommodation as an absolute basic.
So we know that our total fuel bill for the trip will be around about 35,000/150=234 tanks of fuel at £15/tank = £3,510, kets say £3.5K for fuel. It’ll more than likely be less but always better to over budget.
We’ve already worked out our fuel budget so we can forget about that here, this will just be for food/drink/accommodation.
So if we are saying on average we’ll be covering 300 miles a day, that’s 2 tanks of fuel = £30 a day just in fuel.
To work out my living cost budget I’d use something like www.budgetyourtrip.com to work out the rough daily cost in each major country or continent.
So this would be how I’d do our trip.
As a general guide Europe is quite expensive:
I’d allow for about £30/day in Europe when living VERY cheaply. Thats buying food from a supermarket like some bread and cheese, and living off that and water for a good few days, then maybe have a meal from a local cafe every 3/4th day just to keep your energy and spirits up.
You’ll be staying in campsites and cheap hostels too at this daily rate.
Of course you can eat more and stay in nicer places, but it will cost more don’t forget.
You can live off a lot less than £30 a day in Europe too, but this figure will even out across the board over time.
Now, remember that maths homework we did earlier? A+B=C
So we know we are doing 3,500 miles across Europe, and we are aiming to ride about 300 miles a day, that’s 3,500/300= 12 days (A)
12 days/3 = 4 rest days (B)
12 + 4 = 16 (C)
So 16 days to ride through Europe on this route at 300 miles a day and allowing 4 rest days to sightsee and explore cities and activities etc. If you don’t think it’s enough, then add to it accordingly.
At £30/day for food and campsites, that’s 30×16= £480 just to exist in Europe on your trip, that doesn’t allow for any excursions or luxuries in any shape or form, you’re living on bread, cheese and water effectively!
Realistically you could double that, as you’re going to meet people and go places, do things etc. So lets just say £1,000 will cover the Europe Stage.
Next stage on our trip is into Russia which is a land crossing. I’d allow say £50 for the border as you’re going to need insurance etc to get your bike in, as well as any other ‘taxes’ that crop up – again research is the key here so head to Horizons Unlimited and look around the HUBB to see who has recently crossed the border you’re concerned with, and ask them what costs they had to face.
Our trip is 7,000 miles across Russia to Vladivostok, and we are still aiming at 300 miles a day so thats 7,000/300= 24, 24/3=8, 24+8=32 days to cross Russia.
Using budgetyourtrip.com we see that the cheapest daily rate for Russia is £17/day so again I’d always err on the side of caution and ramp that up to £20.
£20X32=£640 for Russia
Next comes South East Asia, again 8,000/300=27/3=9+27=36 Days at a rough daily cost of £15 is £540
Oz 5,000/300=17/3=6+17=23 days at £50/day = £1,150
Sth America 8,500/300=29/3=10+29=39 days at £15/day average = £585
Central America 4,000/300=14/3=5+14=19 days at £15/day average = £285
North America/Canada 12,000/300=40/3=14+40=54 days at a rough average of £40 (again you could do it a lot cheaper if you wanted) = £2,160
So our total living costs for the trip for food/water and accommodation will be £1,000=£640+£540+£1,150+£585+£285+£2,160 = £6,360 just to exist on bare essentials, living mostly in campsites or camping wild and living on bread, water, cheese and the odd meal.
Realistically we’re talking £10K here, and more than likely £15K once you throw in activities, booze, socialising etc. I’d always at least double your initial living costs budget if you’ve never travelled like this before, it’s always better to have too much money left halfway through your trip, than suddenly just run out!
So far we’ve got:
* Fuel at £3,500
* Living costs at £15K
* Shipping at £10K
* Travel Insurance at £1,600
* Vaccinations at £600
So thats a whopping £20,710 (let’s just say £21K) for your trip around the world by motorcycle. Of course you could do it on a bit less if you really scrimped, and you could definitely do it on well over double that, but this will give you an idea of what you need to take into account for a trip like this, and a rough idea of the costs involved.
Remember you’ll need to add the cost of the bike, camera equipment, mobile phone bill, servicing and running costs of your bike, carnet, local ‘taxes’ at borders and these types of things too, not to mention any recurring costs you have at home like mortgages, child maintenance and the like. So that £21K is realistically more like £25K before you even look at buying your bike, but £25K is certainly a doable budget for a RTW trip.
So what do you think, is this more or less than you thought?
Let me know your thoughts in the comments below, or if you’ve got your own thoughts about how to realistically budget for a trip, let us all know here by leaving a comment below.
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Until next time folks, stay safe, enjoy and LIVE YOUR LIFE!!!!!